As I sit in front of the computer and reminisce about my last six months in Armenia, it is hard to figure out how or where to start this little text about one of the happiest and most enriching times of my life. I will share a quote I really like that embodies what Birthright Armenia means to me, and take it from there…
“Community is a feeling that you’re part of something that uplifts you and allows you to see eye-to-eye with different people from different backgrounds. A community holds you to a higher standard; it encourages you to focus on possibility, not fear.”
– Paul Jun
A community that uplifts me and makes me focus on the possibility that is what Birthright Armenia gave me. My journey started six months ago when I decided to take a break from my life in Brazil to explore and understand my family background more deeply. I grew up very much involved and surrounded by the Armenian community in Sao Paulo, but I never really learned how to speak Armenian, so that was also a strong reason for me to visit Armenia for the first time. The support the staff gives you is beyond all of my expectations: language classes, homestays, jobsites, and excursions are all thoughtfully planned and arranged for you with so much care! All that support gives you the opportunity to live what for me is the best part of all this: unexpected encounters! I have met some of the loveliest people from all over the world and had the pleasure to find myself sitting in my neighbor’s house being showered with affection, coffee, and more food than I could ever eat.
I get the question, “how do you like Armenia?” a lot, and I don’t even have to think about the answer. I love it. I love how familiar it is - even with the language barrier - I love to sit for a drink with my friends and look at their smiling faces, I love to travel all around the country with our big excursion group, I love talking to my host mom at breakfast with our little dictionary by our side, I love walking around Gyumri and watching the seasons change, I love getting hugs from strange tatiks that make me miss my own a little less. My time here is not even over yet, and I’m already thinking of coming back.
So I highly recommend you drop everything you’re doing and come to Armenia right now. No need to be afraid; our community got you!
Nadia Regina Ramos
Check out the video that Nadia prepared. It summarizes her 6-month volunteering experience in Armenia